The Black, same as Second To Sun, is the vision and the musical child of Vladimir Lehtinen, who prior this release launched two instrumental records: The First Chapter and Blackbound, which both received vocal treatment by singer Gleb Sysoev, who gave new life to the music.
Musically, The Black grabs you from its first notes; you realise that you’re in for a real treat by something truly unique and original. The blend of atmospheric black metal and groove metal is not something that’s been explored in the past, and for that — daring to do something different — Second To Sun certainly deserve to be praised. You have everything that you expect in a black metal release that respects itself: tremolo picking and heavily distorted guitar riffs, occasional blastbeats, low and thick basslines, shrieking vocals and unpolished production. The ambient and atmospheric pieces, as well as Pantera-inspired riffs, is what makes the album extra special, being present in the slower as well as in the faster parts and creating a mystic and theatrical atmosphere that is rarely encountered.
The Black is insanely good; it is original, it has song structures that most bands would be jealous of and it contains no fillers whatsoever. I am very curious as to how this particular style can be evolved and remain interesting in future releases, but for now this opus here is nothing short of brilliant, and Second To Sun put it out there for all of us to enjoy it. Grab the album from Bandcamp.